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Cy and David's Picks: Free Comedy, a Rock and Roll Summit, and Mariachi for Mexican Independence Day

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Sound Summit is a concert at the Mountain Theater on Mt. Tamalpais  (Photo: Courtesy of Sound Summit)

Sept. 17: How nice to start at the top of Mt. Tamalpais with Sound Summit, an annual concert sponsored by the Roots & Branches Conservancy for the benefit of fire prevention, water conservation and visitor services on Mt. Tam. The headliners are Wilco, fresh from a stint at the Fillmore, plus Los Lobos, the Stone Foxes, and Bill Frisell doing his album Guitar in the Space Age, which ought to sound very cool in the Mountain Theater around 4000 feet up. Bring a cushion and warm clothes. Details here.

Nick Cave's soundsuits in the work 'Drive By'
Nick Cave’s soundsuits in the work ‘Drive By’ (Photo: James Prinz/courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery and the artist)

Sept. 14 – Aug. 14, 2017: The Anderson Collection at Stanford is hosting a show by the boundary-pushing Nick Cave, an African American artist who makes funny sculptures that are like giant, glittery sock pockets decorated with beads, buttons, sequins, and human hair. Sometimes he puts dancers in the suits (Cave trained with Alvin Ailey) and calls it performance art. Whatever  you call it, it’s very cool stuff and very worth a visit to Stanford. Both the Anderson Collection and the Cantor are always free, so it’s one of our Cheap Thrills this week.


Sept 16 & 17: Angelica’s in Redwood City is a kind of throwback, a supper club where you can go for dinner and a show. With help from Redwood City, they’re trying something ambitious these next two days in celebration of Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16), a Mariachi Festival with Coro Redes Y Cantos de Chapala, a chorus of men and women from Jalisco in Mexico, and Mariachi Los Reyes de Los Angeles (mariachi bravado). The Chronicle featured a spread on local mariachi in the pink section a few days ago, if you want to learn more. Details for Angelica’s Mariachi Festival are here.

Sept. 2 – Oct. 2: Dear Master was the play that gave birth to the Aurora Theater, now celebrating its 25th season. Local actor Barbara Oliver was looking for show  in which she could play something other than a granny or nanny, and she worked with author Dorothy Bryant to create a play out of the letters about politics, life and art between Gustave Flaubert and the cross-dressing proto-feminist George Sand. Kimberly King and Michael Ray Wisely play the authors in this new production. It’s not really a romantic tale. Sand was 20 years older, and they never met. But director Joy Carlin told me audiences are loving it. “It seems to pack a wallop, it’s just people reading letters, but people seem to get very emotional over it.” Details here.

Robert Hawkins entertains the Comedy Day audience
Robert Hawkins entertains the Comedy Day audience (Photo: Dan Dion/Comedy Day)

Sept 18: Comedy Day is back in Golden Gate Park. This free (Cheap Thrill) event is a chance to see veterans of the Bay Area comedy scene and new ones you haven’t heard of yet. Johnny Steele, Will Durst, Donald Lacey, Natasha Muse, Loren Kraut, Kabir Kabeezy Singh, Joshua Raoul Brody, (retired politico) Tom Ammiano, and a bunch more are scheduled to perform. The wine is from the Pat Paulson Vineyards, founded by the late Pat Paulson, a regular decades ago on the Smothers Brothers and a joke candidate for President in 1968.  So it’s bound to be have an amusing but pointedly satirical bouquet. Details for the Sharon Meadows show on Sunday from noon to 5pm are here.

Sept 17: Xenia Rubinos was walking around her neighborhood in Brooklyn one day when she noticed that no matter the restaurant — Chinese takeout, Italian, French — they all had Latino chefs and dishwashers working the back of the house. (She sings the song on her new album Black Terry Cat and during the NPR Tiny Desk Concert above). The social critique is wrapped in a tight, funky arrangement, summing up the appeal of this Cuba Rican singer: she writes danceable tunes that make you think. Made to order for a KQED Arts audience. Details of her Saturday show at the Independent are here.

Sept. 21 – 25: The Berkeley Old time Music Convention is both a conference for the artists and a chance for music lovers to hear some of the best in bluegrass and traditional music. There are workshops and concerts, plus clogging with Berkeley’s Evie Ladin. That’s worth it alone. Many events are at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage are free. Details here.

Art, films, and native gardens at Vallejo's Visions of the Wild
Art, films, and native gardens at Vallejo’s Visions of the Wild (Photo: Courtesy of Visions of the Wild)

Sept. 15 – 18: You only have to go to Vallejo to find wilderness this week. Visions of the Wild is in its third year of filling Vallejo gardens, theaters and galleries with film, art shows, and speakers. Plus there’s field trips and a chance to join in Coastal Cleanup Day (keep that plastic out of the Bay). Nature sound mensch Bernie Krause will speak, as well KQED Science Editor Craig Miller. And most events are free. Details here.

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